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If there’s one thing we know about reviving dinosaurs for a theme park, it’s that it all starts with something encased in amber.

Dr. John Hammond in the film Jurassic Park resurrects the dinosaurs with a sample of blood from a mosquito. Who knows what he could do with this: A 99-year-old feathered dinosaur tail, which was recently discovered in a Myanmar market.

via National Geographic

The amber is “roughly the size of an apricot” and “captures one of the Earliest moments of differentiation between the feathers of birds of flight and the feathers of dinosaurs.” Though, because of these feathers, the dinosaur was probably unable to fly. This means scientists could actually see the color of the tail, which was “described as chestnut brown with a pale or white underside.”

Of course, up until now, we had thought that discovering something in amber was the first step toward opening a theme park of dinosaurs and getting your grandchildren attacked by a velociraptor or something. But we do we know, we just saw Jurassic Park. It’s not like that makes you an expert in dino attacks and how to prevent them.

via National Geographic

Like many of these types of amber, this one was actually meant to be sold as jewelry. This was just one of two dozen purchased from a Myanmar market. Lisa Xing of the China University of Geoscience, who led the research, told National Geographic that because conflicts between the Myanmar government and the Kachin Independence Army are “nearing end,” the Hukawng Valley, where these ambers are found, will open up and more discoveries can be made.

"Maybe we can find a complete dinosaur.” he said.

And all we can do is watch in horror as this paleontologist casually begins a Jurassic Park scenario that we’re all destined to become wrapped up in.

via Jurassic Park Films

Big Find of The Day: Second Largest Diamond Ever Found in Botswana
Via: Time
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Scrooge McDuck would be freaking out right now.

A 1,111 carat diamond has been discovered in Botswana by mining company Lucara. This is the second largest diamond ever discovered, only bested by the diamond used to make the British crown jewels.

It is as almost as big as a tennis ball.

"The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century and the continued recovery of high quality stones from the south lobe, cannot be overstated," Lucara CEO William Lamb said in a press release.

Rihanna is reportedly pretty pumped about this discovery.

Scientists find a new species of hominid
Via: io9
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We're probably not alone in the universe and we were definitely not alone on this planet.

Scientists have discovered the remains of 15 partial skeletons deep within a South African cave system. They belong to a species of hominid unlike anything ever found before.

They aren't neanderthals, they aren't homo sapiens, but they seem to come from one of our common ancestors. Scientists named the bones homo naledi.



io9 has a good write up on the findings.

While Lee Berger, the lead researcher behind the study, tells New Scientist that the species "doesn't look a lot like us," his team believes that features observed in the skull, hands and teeth of the skeletons make it part of the Homo genus.

They certainly have enough evidence from which to draw that kind of conclusion: the fossil find in the cave system was particularly rich. In fact, the team uncovered an amazing 1,400 bones and 140 teeth during a single field trip to the site. The team reckons the fossils could date back as far as 3 million years — though an accurate date is yet to be confirmed.

...The remains that have so far been studied suggest that Homo naledi was an unusual-looking creature. Its pelvis and shoulder are, apparently, reminiscent of apes that lived 4 million years ago, while its feet resemble Homo sapien remains from just 200,000 years ago. Meanwhile, its skull was much smaller, containing a brain less than half the size of modern humans. The team reckon the creature could have stood 5 feet tall and weighed almost 100 pounds.



What is the craziest part of this discovery is that these non-humans were intelligent enough to pull their dead into the sort of burial chamber, which hints at basic emotional understanding. They knew things!

Mashable put together this great video showcasing some of the researchers who discovered these mysterious hominid cousins:

explorers,antarctica,discovery,awesome,science,g rated,School of FAIL
Via: Discovery
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These are the photographs and journal of George Murray Levick, who traveled with Captain Robert Falcon Scott (greatest name ever) on the ill-fated south pole expedition.



Via Discovery:

Levick was one of six men in Scott's Northern Party, who summered (1911-1912) at Cape Adare and survived the winter of 1912 in a snow cave when their ship was unable to reach them. Levick was not part of the team that accompanied Scott on his doomed quest to be the first to reach the South Pole.

After an arduous two-and-a-half month trek, Scott and his crew did make it to the South Pole on Jan. 17, 1912. But they discovered that the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beat them to it. Scott and his team died on the way back to their base, faced with a blizzard and dwindling supplies.

national geographic,discovery,fossils,dinosaurs
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Discovery of the feathered dinosaur, dubbed Changyuraptor yangi ("great feather" in Chinese), adds to the roster of feathered raptor dinosaurs with hind wings found in northeastern China in the past two decades. It is the biggest one found so far, and the fifth such species.
discovery,argentina,fossils,dinosaurs
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Paleontologists from the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio have unearthed around 150 fossilized dinosaur bones, representing seven of what's believed to be the largest known dinosaur to have ever walked the Earth, in the desert about 135 miles west of the city of Trelew in Argentina. The seven are currently thought to be a new species of titanosaur, a group of particularly tall and heavy dinosaur herbivores.



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